#31: The One Lesson That Opened My Mind To Better Nutrition

#31: The One Lesson That Opened My Mind To Better Nutrition



I hope you are feeling fabulous, and you are ready to kick tails today, tomorrow, and every day!

The last episode, you got to learn a little bit more about my past struggles with sugar, my self-compassion journey, and the start of my healing journey. In today’s episode, you get to learn another layer of my journey, including the highlights of reversing my prediabetes and how I ended up curious about hormone balance.

When I decided to get to the root cause of my sugar addiction, it was inspired by the little, like the very tip of the iceberg, I had learned about the correlation of high levels of sugar with insulin and inflammation in the body. And that inflammation was often the root cause of many illnesses including obesity, dementia, various types of cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, asthma, and more.

Here is a point in time that deserves to be mentioned.


In 2012, I joined a Crossfit gym—despite the fact I had many sessions pre-paid with a personal trainer. Little I knew that taking take step would have such an impact on my nutrition and exercise, of course.

I had joined a gym simply because I wanted my volleyball to improve as much as of my friend Heather. Heather was passionate about Crossfit. I was kinda against it due to the horrible [injury] stories I had heard. However, when Heather claimed her improvements in volleyball were because of Crossfit, I had to check it out.

One Sunday, after playing with her, I stopped by at a gym by the house. I walked in very skeptical because I had knee and shoulders issues. Quickly, the instructor showed me that my problem was a lack of technique and strength. I was shocked. I had been worked with different personal trainers for years and in 15 minutes, this guy told and showed things I was clueless about.

I set up an appointment with the owner and signed up shortly after that.

Joining Crossfit inspired change in me in the areas of nutrition and exercise. They were committed to education, technique, and performance. Newbies had to attend 1:1 sessions and one of them was about nutrition. Its role on health and physical performance. And they also touched food quality and inflammation in the body. I was so curious to learn more. I took a deep dive into food, nutrition, inflammation, and finally, started to COOK!!!

Holy Moly!!! A new Maria was born.

My early experiences with cooking and how my body was responding to eating more nutrient-dense foods were very revealing. Until then, it had never occurred to me that lack of nutrients and hydration could be part of my non-stop cravings, irritability, mood swings, poor natural energy, belly fat, GI problems, and more. WOW!!!

At that time, I figured out that I was going to learn mostly on my own. I was not able to find resources that gave me the confidence I could beat the addiction. Plus, I was looking for a comprehensive approach that would help me manage my emotional eating and eating disorder. I had a feeling that when I addressed all three components (sugar addiction, emotional eating, and eating disorder), I’d be able to let go of my obsession with weight control.

For the next two years, I worked insanely on my nutrition. I took a deep dive into articles, books, and health summits, whatever I could find.

2013 was a very inspiring year for me. One of the books I was reading mentioned important blood biomarkers and healthy functional levels one ought to have. I pulled years of blood results and started to study my numbers. Holy Moly. I discovered that I had prediabetes, super low vitamin D, inflammation, and many other markers that were not at the optimal levels. That scared and shook me to the core.

I went back to my doctor to rerun my labs. I asked why he had never told me about my prediabetes. He said it was because since I was 36 without a family history of diabetes and was active playing volleyball, it was ok. I looked at him and said, “you don’t ask what I eat. I eat SUGAR all day.” I thought to myself….”are you waiting for me to get diabetes and then give me medication?”

That same day, I went in with a list of tests/biomarkers I wanted him to run. He asked why. I told him I had read a book that recommended knowing certain markers to give more insights into inflammation and deficiencies.  He agreed but was clear he was not going to change his recommendations. I told him I was going to look at my own numbers.

Let me tell you, it was that visit that I decided I was going to take full responsibility for my health going forward. I became kinda obsessed with nutrition, balancing meals, eating my own food, replacing sugar with real food, and all.

In December 2013, I went back to get labs again. I wanted to know whether my efforts were paying off. They were. I had reversed my prediabetes. I felt so empowered. Not all my problems were solved. I was still working on my chronic digestion issues, emotional eating, and eating disorder. I had other biomarkers out of whack which I addressed later. That year, I also started my training to become a personal trainer.

2014 was another critical year for me. I met Dr. Ritamarie, the founder of INE in a Health Summit. When I heard her passionately speak about blood sugar, insulin sensitivity, and hormone balance…and how lifestyle impacted our hormones and that nutrition was not the only thing we needed to balance, my ears perked up. I started to follow her work and before I knew I had enrolled in her Insulin Resistance Practitioner’s Program. The training and all else she was saying passionately got me hooked!

New doors were about to open for me. Doors that eventually got me into Nutritional Endocrinology. Oh, it was also at the end of 2014 that I left corporate to start Be Fab – Be You LLC. So, now that’s given you this background, sharing more about the world of Nutrition Endocrinology makes sense. I’ll talk about it next episode.

During that time (2014), I also took note when I heard practitioners talk about the ‘normal’ versus optimal levels when it comes to blood and other tests. How many people are within the normal ranges and don’t feel well? I thought to myself, I don’t know to be compared to the average population, I want to be optimal. We need to get to the bottom of this.

In 2015, I took my first training for Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis. Again, holy smokes!!! More knowledge leading lifestyle to the fact that there was more than nutrition and exercise and the importance of hormone balance.

So, it’s because of my personal experiences and training that I give my clients a comprehensive list of biomarkers to get done, I perform an analysis, educate them, give them an incredible report, and there we go to work getting the body to work optimally. We do that by evaluating and addressing lifestyle areas that need attention. That could be nutrition, supplementation, exercise, sleep, stress, toxicity. And that’s also why I may also recommend non-blood-related tests like DUTCH, Organic Acid, stool test, and others. 

I share these stories to empower you. I want you to become the Chief Health Officer of your life. Check out episode #3 for more on that.

You don’t have to do this alone though.

I also wanted you to know my experiences, challenges and wins they all add up to being a coach. Most importantly, I want you to know I will be your cheerleader and accountability partner, guide you throughout the ups and downs, and celebrate your wins with you.

When you are ready, book a call at BeFabBeYou.com. Let’s have some fun together.

Thanks for listening and sharing this podcast with your friends and family. Talk to you soon.

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